Can Dogecoin Lead to World Peace?, asks Tanmay Bhat at Razorpay FTX 2021
India is at the forefront of the global fintech revolution and Razorpay is carrying it’s mantle with their annual flagship event Razorpay FTX which recently concluded on 10th Dec. Since 2019, Razorpay FTX has been leading conversations in the space through focused dialogues with industry leaders, decision makers and experts. This year FTX brought together more than 50 industry leaders and was virtually attended by more than 20,000 enthusiasts. Here is what you missed in Razorpay FTX 2021’s cryptocurrency panel.
India’s famous stand-up comedian and crypto enthusiast, Tanmay Bhat hosted the session ‘Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Boom’ at FTX 2021 featuring Jaynti Kanani (Co-founder and CEO, Polygon), Akshay BD (Advisor, Solana Foundation), Ashish Singhal (Founder and CEO, CoinSwitch) and Sumit Gupta (Co-founder and CEO, CoinDCX). The session discussed everything from the impact crypto will have on the economy to how it should be regulated.
The Crypto Opportunity
The panel started off talking about the crypto opportunity that India has. Being fundamentally driven by technology, internet and people, the panelists believed that crypto is one area where India can take the lead. “India has the talent, technology, money and people, all necessary elements in the growth of crypto. India is well poised to take the lead in crypto,” said Jaynti Kanani, Co-founder and CEO of Polygon. Building on this point, Ashish Singhal, Founder and CEO of CoinSwitch said that India missed out on internet 1.0, the west leveraged this well because of which all big tech companies are now from the west, with crypto, India can now build in India for the world. He further added that with blockchain technology, in the next 5 years, India will be the net exporter of tech and the next global tech giants will come from India.
Speaking on the impact of cryptocurrency on the normal consumer, Akshay BD, Advisor, Solana Foundation said, “Crypto is a sky-hook for Indians. The fact that location is irrelevant to get rising success and profits is what makes crypto so advantageous.”
Crypto and financial inclusion
Building on the point made by Akshay, Sumit Gupta, Co-founder and CEO, CoinDCX said that crypto can also lead to financial inclusion in India. Pointing out to the fact that access to credit is largely dependent on a person’s income and assets, Sumit said, “Crypto does not discriminate between people who earn different incomes because the technology it is built on is democratic. Hence, anyone, despite their income, can get access to credit using crypto.” Supporting Sumit’s point, Jaynti added that in traditional lending scenarios the interest rates charged would be dependent on a person’s income, making credit expensive for low income inpiduals. With crypto and its ability to transact cross-border, SMEs and low income inpiduals can get access to low interest loans.
The looming crypto regulations
With a lot of chatter around the impending regulations for cryptocurrencies doing the rounds, the panelists had insightful opinions on the same. Ashish called for a clear distinction between the different use-cases of blockchain and crypto to make better regulations. He said, “Crypto is very wide and one can use it as a currency and also as an infrastructure. Regulations need to be different for different use cases. If the use case is around crypto as an investment or a currency, then regulations need to foster innovation while also putting in some protections for investors. If the use case is around crypto being an infrastructure, then more of a free-hand must be given to innovate.”
Building onto Ashish’s point, Sumit stated that regulations around crypto need to be extremely fluid because the tech behind crypto moves very fast and is unpredictable. He suggested that the regulators must regulate the sector gradually and make changes to the regulations as and when the technology develops.
Giving a pragmatic solution to the regulation conundrum, Akshay said, “the most prudent solution is to regulate it in a way that you can encourage the growth of it while also not hampering what is a trillion dollar market.” He added that cryptocurrency will also create the beginning of shared regulations where multiple stakeholders would regulate the sector and compete with each other to create robust regulations which is good for the industry.
The way forward
Commenting on the way forward the panelists agreed on the fact that cryptocurrency would decrease the dependence on banks. However, with more adoption of blockchain technology, collaboration between banks and fintech would become more robust. “The digital ecosystem does not need centralisation, centralisation is what is slowing tech down. As time passes banks and fintech will use blockchain and the central system will merge with the decentralized system,” said Ashish Singhal.
Concluding the panel on a high note, Akshay said that cryptocurrency can bring in world peace. He stated that millennials never had the opportunity to create wealth, which led to civil unrest. However, in the last 10 years, millennials have been able to create a trillion dollar market through cryptos and NFTs leading to wealth creation. This would create world peace.
As governments debate over regulations and as crypto markets keep growing, more and more use cases for blockchain would emerge, benefiting the society and tech at large. But as the panelists of ‘Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Boom’ demonstrated that there is a lot to uncover about cryptocurrency. By hosting this session, Razorpay FTX 2021 has ignited conversations around the sector and brought these ideas centrestage.